Politico is out with a long, entertaining profile of former House speaker John Boehner, and there's a reason the headline is "John Boehner Unchained." In a series of extensive interviews, Boehner unloads on lots of people, mostly within his own party, but the 67-year-old also seems to be wrestling with the problem of many a retiree. Tim Alberta writes that a longtime friend asked him, "You've always had a purpose—your business, your family, politics. What's your purpose now?" Boehner, pictured with his lawnmower and on the golf course multiple times, "says the question gnaws at him every day." Highlights:
- Former Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Rep. Jim Jordan: “F--- Jordan. F--- Chaffetz. They’re both a--holes," Boehner says of his old antagonists on the right. He calls Chaffetz a "total phony" concerned only about himself and Jordan a "legislative terrorist." (Jordan's response: "I feel sorry for the guy if he's that bitter.")
- House Freedom Caucus: “They can’t tell you what they’re for. They can tell you everything they’re against. They’re anarchists. They want total chaos. Tear it all down and start over. That’s where their mindset is.”
- GOP's failure to repeal ObamaCare: “Their gonads shriveled up when they learned this vote was for real.”
- Sean Hannity: "I had a conversation with Hannity, probably about the beginning of 2015. I called him and said, ‘Listen, you’re nuts.’ We had this really blunt conversation. Things were better for a few months, and then it got back to being the same-old, same-old. Because I wasn’t going to be a right-wing idiot.”
- President Trump, GOP: "Donald Trump’s not a Republican. He’s not a Democrat. He’s a populist. He doesn’t have an ideological bone in his body.” In that case, asks Alberta, who is the leader of the GOP? Boehner responds, “There is nobody."
- Ted Cruz: “He’s the most miserable son of a bitch I’ve ever had to work with.”
- A knife? Boehner says Rep. Don Young of Alaska once pinned him to a wall and held a knife to his throat in a dispute over funding. Boehner says he responded, "F--- you." Young says the account is "mostly true." The two are now pals.
- Congress in general: “We have some of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet, and some that are Nazis. Congress is nothing more than a slice of America.”
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